Thursday, November 26, 2009


Woo hoo! The best day of the year is here!

OK, forcing myself to post. I was so disappointed when I saw I didn't post at all last year.

The location for the event: my mom's newly (finally!) redecorated house.

The attendees: Everyone! My mom, both brothers, both their wives, one of their sons, one of their sets of in laws, my husband and two kids, and my in laws. Oh, and me! By last count, that's 14.

The meal: I am making the brunt of it, with help from my lovely sister in law, and presumably my mom, but she prefers to wander off and play with the grandkids most days. Which is fine, since I have serious cooking to do and can't be expected to do any serious kid wrangling!

The prep:

We have two 13 pound turkeys in my mom's fridge. I went yesterday and dry salted one of them. The other wasn't fully defrosted, so I did a wet brine with salt and sugar. My mom was supposed to drain, rinse, and pat dry that one this morning, and put it back in the fridge to try to dry out the skin a little.

The turkeys will be made in my mom's fancy new Viking stove. Even though she has the fresh new set up, I like my tools and my kitchen. Her kitchen is sparkly new and remarkably free of basic pantry items and useful hardware. So, I tried to do a lot of the prep yesterday. And, it'll save me stress over certain items that tend to be a pain the day of: namely, desserts.

So, last night I made this lovely looking English toffee pecan pie. If it got a blue ribbon from Martha, it's got to be good, amirite? It wasn't the Martha vote that got me, actually. My mom loves toffee and pecan pie, so I kind of had to make it once I stumbled across the recipe.

I prepped and chilled the pumpkin creme brulee to be. I hate it when I am rushed to chill it adequately, and end up juggling things in the freezer on a special occasion, desperately trying to chill it so the brulee-ing process doesn't heat it up again.

I made kale and pancetta. We will also be having green beans with persimmons and pancetta, and one of the turkeys will have salt pork draped over it for some of the cooking. So, definitely not a kosher or vegetarian friendly meal!

Oh, and speaking of more pork, I browned the sage sausage, and used the drippings to cook a B-52's Chrysler load of celery and onions for the stuffings. I also sliced the bread and let it get stale.

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